Find below a detailed timeline for the launch of Gaia on 19 December 2013. See notes for abbreviations. The usual disclaimer applies: This is a real-time activity and all times are subject to change. Follow launch live via ESA TV, starting 08:50 GMT (09:50 CET).

See also some additional post-separation timeline events listed in Gaia liftoff timeline in ESA web.

  • AIT – The Astrium Integration Team/Suupport Team in Kourou, working on behalf of the ESA Gaia Project Office
  • DMS – Soyuz Mission Director on console at Kourou
  • S/C – Spacecraft (= Gaia)
  • MET – Mission elapsed time (minue before H0, positive after)
MET [hh:mm:ss] UTC [hh:mm:ss] Actor Activity
-14:00:00 19:12:19 ESOC B-Team Flight Control Team & Software Support team on console in Main Control Room
-13:40:00 19:32:19 ESOC Flight Control Team: Voice & status check with spacecraft support team in Kourou
-13:35:00 19:37:19 ESOC Flight Control Team: Connect network interface to Kourou
-13:30:00 19:42:19 ESOC Gaia Project Representative (in ESOC): Voice loop & telephone check with Kourou
-13:25:00 19:47:19 ESOC Synchronise launch countdown clockc (Spacecraft Support Team to Project Represetative)
-13:00:00 20:12:19 DMS Spacecraft Mission Director (DMS) on console in Kourou
-12:50:00 20:22:19 AIT S/C switch-on
-12:03:00 21:09:19 AIT Start pre-launch operations timeline
-10:00:00 23:12:19 AIT End pre-launch operations timeline
-09:59:00 23:13:19 AIT S/C in prelaunch mode/ Start launch timeline (configures S/C for launch)
-09:00:00 00:12:19 AIT End of launch operations timeline
-08:15:00 00:57:19 Soyuz General weather forecast by ArianeSpace
-08:10:00 01:02:19 AIT Check final S/C configuration to declare GO for launch
-08:05:00 01:07:19 ESOC Ground segment status: confirm nominal
-06:00:00 03:12:19 ESOC Start of network countdown
-05:40:00 03:32:19 DMS DMS sends test fax to ESOC/Flight Director & Ground Operations Manager – both confirm reception
-05:26:00 03:46:19 ESOC Flight Director reports ground segment countdown status to DMS (in preparation for launcher fuelling)
-05:25:00 03:47:19 AIT DMS (in Kourou) reports to Flight Diretor (in ESOC) that authorisation to proceed with 3-stage fuelling has been granted
-04:30:00 04:42:19 AIT Launcher: Start 3-stage fuelling
-01:45:00 07:27:19 AIT Launcher: End of fuelling
-00:30:00 08:42:19 ESOC Flight Director reports ground segment ready for launch to Spacecraft Mission Director
-00:18:00 08:54:19 DMS S/C on internal power
-00:02:24 09:09:55 Soyuz Umbilical drop-off (expected loss of S/C telemetry on screens at ESOC)
-00:01:00 09:11:19 Soyuz Activation of the automatic launch sequence
-00:00:10 09:12:09 Soyuz Final Countdown
00:00:00 09:12:19 Soyuz LIFT OFF / H0 nominal
Soyuz/Fregat events
00:01:58 Soyuz 1st stage separation
00:03:39 Soyuz Fairing separation
00:04:47 Soyuz 2nd stage separation
00:09:23 Soyuz Upper composite separation
00:10:22 Soyuz Start Fregat -1st burn
00:12:38 Soyuz End Fregat – 1st burn
00:21:25 Soyuz Start Fregat -2nd burn
00:36:58 Soyuz End Fregat -2nd burn
00:41:58 Soyuz Separation
00:58:20 Soyuz Start Fregat ACS – 3rd burn
01:00:09 Soyuz End Fregat ACS – 3rd burn